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What to look for in mobile application security testing companies?

Mobile Application security testing: An essential security measure!

Mobile application security testing has become a prerequisite for all mobile applications. The mobile network has empowered users to engage with their business, social and financial operations to a large extent. Hence, every enterprise has launched its own mobile applications connecting various services with users. The very motion has eased out day to day transactions of users without a doubt. But, what about the rising matters around data safety and security?

We know that monetary transactions happen at 3G/4G networks and it gets targeted by attackers. Considering previous year stats, 97% of mobile apps fall prey to different attack vectors. As a result, mobile application security has become a vital requirement for any business which connects its services through mobile apps. Security testing services for mobile apps are readily available in the cyber market. But, there are some relevant things to consider while choosing mobile application penetration testing vendor for your business.

Criteria for choosing mobile application security testing companies

Mobile application security testing gives confidence to organizations while developing applications in terms of safety and protection. The testing deeply analyses and probes for vulnerabilities in apps used with various mobile platforms. Many application development and application security teams face a shortage of resources to conduct the required security inspections. As a result, they engage with outside partners and independent verifications by third parties.

Thus, selecting the right mobile application security testing partner can be challenging to many enterprises. The level of expertise and quality could vary from one vendor to other. Any risk going undetected can wrap the application with security concerns soon. So, here are some key factors to think about while choosing your mobile application security.

Experience speaks gold in mobile application security testing

Probe for a company that delivers a specialized team of testing professionals dedicated to mobile application security. Similarly, the security analyst team must possess good knowledge in attacking surfaces and insights about various new-gen vulnerabilities. Ideally, they must have a blend of security fundamentals, understanding of vulnerabilities outside tool suites, forensics, reverse engineering etc. The previous engagement records, CVEs and bug bounty backgrounds are a plus while picking your right mobile app security testing company.

Search for the tools and techniques used by the mobile application testing team

With evolvements in the cyber risk landscape, it has become vital to examine the security of mobile apps than ever before. Various tools get used by the security testing team. They help to probe the vulnerabilities and, at the same time, can make recommendations on when a test should get executed on the pipeline. Some of the tools leveraged by the mobile app penetration testing team are Burp Suite, apktool, Drozer, Ghidra, MobSF, OWASP ZAP etc. With such enormous expansion in tools and techniques used by the testing team, enterprises must make sure the worthy one goes inside their security concerns. 

Ensure the team possess knowledge in threat modelling

While conducting mobile app penetration testings, threat modelling plays a crucial role. Rather than a normal approach to security testing, you need your security expert to engage closely on mobile architecture, sensitive information, and intellectual properties. It can help your hired team exploit and drive the test to the particular threat profile of your application. Also, enterprises should consider the testing based on industry standards and regulations such as OWASP Mobile Top 10 and various data security standards. So, always ensure that the hired testing team well-understands threat modelling to the core. Make sure that the team also possess certifications that can bet their knowledge.

Confirm vendor reports includes context and proof of concepts (POCs)

Enterprises must ensure that vendor reports are able to furnish crystal clear and actionable results. The testing report should never confine to just findings. It must be made inclusive of detailed steps or POCs. Also, ensure the testing report reflects the detailed attack scenarios connecting severity and likelihood of security issues. Typically, a high-quality testing report will have detailed vulnerability findings, description, context, visuals, prioritized remediations or action plans. So, look for a quality vendor capable of producing such results promptly and accurately.

Choose a vendor that takes a consultative approach

Mobile application security testing is not all about determining scopes, fixing the approach, and conducting the tests to detailed findings. On the contrary, they should look for a testing team with a consultative approach. The security testing team should meet you before the engagement, collect valuable information and review the results accordingly. Also, it is significant that you need bits of advice to convince developers about bug prioritization and other insights. Finally, make sure that there is a retest after completing the first cycle of evaluation and patching efforts.

4 Mobile Application Security Best Practices you can’t Ignore!

1. Ensuring security at the application layer

Operating systems are getting time-evolved, so are the device manufacturers. They keep on implementing the latest mobile app security features. Many organizations still rely on the fact that the iOS platform makes them more secure. IOS indeed edge over Android platforms in terms of security. But, complete reliance on the platform security is not a worthy option every time. Therefore, handling mobile security at the application layer is significant. Moreover, it helps to reduce overdependence on the platform to shield from security risks.

2. Be cautious when using third-party libraries

Relying on third-party means that your source code goes tied to that library. Switching libraries also makes the code undergo vital changes to adapt to the new library. Test your code extensively before using third party libraries. Also, many incidents and issues have sprouted up due to insecure third-party libraries in recent years. So be alert and careful on the very go!

3. Use of cutting-edge authentication methods

One of the major reasons for mobile data breaches is the unauthenticated access connected to applications. Hence, strong authentication is a peak necessity while building a mobile application. It mainly relies on the password and personal identifiers that shields the entry. While developing, make sure that the application consumes only strong combinations of passwords. Likewise, a password renewal policy within a specified period could be helpful. If the apps are of high sensitivity, try to implement biometric authentication mechanisms.

4. Bring testing as a continuous practice

Mobile app security is a perpetual practice that organizations must consider with time. Every minute points to the sprout of a new vulnerability and addressing them is indeed a challenge at hand. Mobile application penetration testing is a helpful pick of security action that can probe and inspect vulnerabilities on time. Test the applications following every new update, and patch the identified vulnerabilities as and when required. Time will see newer threats vectors, and security testings would be the number one differentiator in application success above usability and appeal.

Key questions while choosing your security testing vendors

Here are some of the key vendor questions to better identify and understand the technical capabilities required for the evaluation process.

  • How do you estimate the timeline of apps while achieving accurate results?
  • How would you examine the level of code coverage, testing process and reporting ways to measure the return on your investment?
  • How can you gauge the testing process connected to each stage of the SDLC process?
  • What metrics are required for the testing process, and how can you benefit from using industry-standard security guidelines?

Summing Up

To ensure efficient testing for your application, picking the finest mobile app penetration testing company is your best bet. Security testing is a real challenge that requires a lot of knowledge gathering and analysis. Almost 3/4th of the efforts stick to finding vulnerable functionalities of the application. For this, testing vendors will require deep expertise in key security technologies. Again, conformance with global security standards like OWASP, OSSTMM, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, etc. and utilizing CREST certified security analysts will help ensure a risk-free app before the public launch.